Donny is over seeing security at the studio. He starts his day by taking a Navy Seal Boot Camp class at the beach followed by a Bikram Yoga class and washes it down with Pilates before you even had your Folgers. He is a retired Boston cop but before you get the idea he spends his days at home watching “Matlock” and “Murder She Wrote” think again! No early bird special for this silver fox. He will put a hurt on you good and quick. As of this writing he is mastering the art of getting out of a full nelson with the speed of a Cobra ready to strike. Donny is ruggedly handsome but sorry ladies he’s taken. He resides in the Boston area with his lovely wife Debbie. He really is the “World’s Most Interesting Man,” Stay thirsty my friends.
|Separated at birth, Donny Wightman and Jack Douglas. Photo: John B. |
Marco is handling Brad and Tom’s guitars for the recording. He was born in Transylvania but moved to San Diego at an early age. His resume is quite impressive with acts ranging from the Reformed Doors and Yardbirds also The Cult and most recently the Experience Hendrix tour. Marco has been with Brad the last 2 Aerosmith tours. An interesting factoid about Marco is he doesn’t own one piece of clothing that isn’t black. Since he was born in Transylvanian he gets kidded a lot for being a vampire and has adopted the nicknames “Dracula, Count Marcula” and “Vlad the Inhaler” from his peers. There is no truth to the rumor that he can’t do shows in daylight or sleeps hanging upside down in a closet in the back of the tour bus. His favorite past time is watching “True Blood” and “Vampire Diaries” which he DVR’s when on the road. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in an elevator with him but when the shit hits the fans I want him in my corner. He knows his way around the neck of a guitar that’s for sure.
|Marco Moir and "Big Boss Man" Brad Whitford. Photo: John B. |
Hailing from the great state of Illinois, Trace has been associated with many acts including Cheap Trick, Melissa Etheridge and Keith Urban to name a few. Trace was born in a Commune when free love was still free. His brother fed him a steady diet of rock at an early age. Aerosmith, KISS, Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent were all forced on him until he swapped his ABBA and Captain and Tennille records for something a little edgier like Black Sabbath. Trace bares a resemblance to Garth from Wayne’s World but is in no way related to Dana Carvey. He has been with Joe since his “Have Guitar, Will Travel” tour and is looking forward to his first trip to Japan with Aerosmith. Trace is one of the best guitar techs in the business and if you don’t believe me just ask him.
|Trace Foster. Photo: John B. |
Shippington is the Swiss Army Knife of the crew. He can do it all. He is so low key that sometimes you have to hold a mirror under his nose to see if he is still breathing. Last week he got so amped up over something his heart beat went up to around 16 beats per minute. He is assisting Jack and engineer Warren Huart and doing a fine job. On the road he can be found in IT world and has with been with the band since 2003. He runs on a steady diet of caffeine and nicotine and sleeps 3 hours per day. He hails from the Boston area and ladies he certainly does love walks on Revere beach in the summertime.
|John Shipp is never far from the Keurig machine! Photo: John B. |
Krame-Pup is his pappy’s drum tech in the studio. He also took Joey’s longtime drum tech, Magee’s, place last Aero tour - more on Magee later. As you all know, Jesse is an accomplished drummer (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and has sat in with the guys more than a few times. The Pup has even painted some murals in the studio in his downtime. His idol is Bob Ross and can paint a landscape with the best of them.
|Krame Pup. Photo: John B. |
Sam “Spider” Mamary:
Sam is the newest member of the team. He is the intern for the recording process. Not everyday can someone boast that Joe Perry has given you a nickname but for evermore he will be known in Aero world as “Spider.” Spider is currently enrolled at American University in D.C., entering his 4th year. Before that he took classes at the prestigious International Butler Academy located in Valkenburg aan de Geul in the south of The Netherlands. His schooling has come in quite handy in the studio. Welcome aboard Spider! Dance for us.
|Spider hard at work. Photo: D. Wightman |
|Your coffee Mr. Whitford. Photo: D. Wightman |
What can you say about Jack that hasn’t already been said. The Who, Aerosmith, John Lennon, Cheap Trick, Miles Davis and Alice Cooper. Nuff said!
Warren is twisting the knobs for the first time for the bad boys. He is coming off working with England’s newest wunderkinds “The Fray.” He is from England, now living in the states. He has mastered the English language quite well since living here since 1995. Warren and Jack have been working together for the past few years and get along better than chalk and cheese.
|Warren makes sense of it all. Photo: John B. |
John “MaGee” McGarry:
MaGee is the executive liaison to the Demon of Screamin’. He is in his 8th year with the band. The previous 7 were as Joey’s drum tech. Magee is a team player and his favorite pastime is collecting Asian pottery, as well as other things Asian. He has also worked for Dream Theatre, Stone Temple Pilots and David Lee Roth to name a few.
|John B and MaGee. Photo: Jay Gaunt |
Casey Patrick Tebo:
Casey is in the studio almost everyday capturing everybody’s every move. He is also the band’s video director and spends every spare moment on his trusty Mac designing the video package for the upcoming tour. Old spinach chin has his finger on the pulse and is perhaps the best video director this band has ever had.
|Demon and Casey Tebo with Lord Stanley. Photo:John B. |
I would be in a dilapidated state if I failed to mention Paul in this story. Paul is the chief cook and bottle washer at the Boneyard and Briar Patch respectfully. In his younger days he was rumored to be so mean he once shot a man for snoring. He has studied the art of “Choi Kwang Do” and “Wing Chun Kung Fu” with the late great Pat Morita at Arnold’s Martial Arts Emporium in Beverly Hills. Pat affectionately called Paul “Little Wang Chung.” He is a 16th degree black belt and is the only person to battle Chuck Norris to a draw back in 1986. Paul started working for the band in 1999 and was a part of the “Just Push Play” album. He worked in the Boneyard and was part of the Boneyard Boys in training along with Paul Caruso. Mr. Santo has played keyboards on several Aerosmith tracks over the years. He was also part of the Joe Perry Project in 2009 playing both guitar and keyboards. Paul has the skills to pay the bills and can perform “Jedi Mind Tricks.” My favorite is when he wishes for food and a sandwich miraculously appears. Paul has a Grammy on his resume as engineer for his work on Alejandra Guzman’s album, “Soy.” It’s a Latin Grammy but it still looks like a regular one. Hats off to Paul. He is an asset to the team.
|Paul Santo makes a great guacamole. Photo: John B. |
There you have it folks. These are the people behind the scenes throwing coal in the fire to keep the engines running. Without this fine group of (somewhat) young men things would come to a screeching halt.